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The latest federal safety statistics indicate that 2014 was the safest year on record for freight-train operations in the United States, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.The association highlighted some of the Federal Railroad Administration's statistics released earlier this month:• Since 2000, the train accident rate is down 45 percent, while the 2014 train accident rate was down 7 percent compared with 2013.• The track-caused accident rate fell 54 percent since 2000 and 12 percent compared with 2013.• The equipment-caused accident rate dropped 44 percent since 2000 and 6 percent compared with 2013.• The human factor-caused accident rate declined 44 percent since 2000 and 4 percent compared with 2013."The FRA statistics show that while freight railroads moved more products in 2014 than any time since 2007, the focus on safe train operations remained front and center through technological improvements, company-wide safety programs and ongoing record spending back into rail operations," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger.
Since 1980, $575 billion has been spent on maintaining and modernizing the 140,000-mile freight-rail system, with another $29 billion planned for track infrastructure and equipment in 2015, Hamberger added.
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